The beauty of Andy Carroll...he doesn't think too much

The chants from the frozen St James' Park terrace served notice of the two sides of Andy Carroll.

The good..... "You're just a s*** Andy Caroll," was the amusing taunt directed from the Geordie choir at Chelsea talisman Didier Drogba.

A bit harsh on Drogba, that one, even if the Chelsea striker did have a subdued game.

But Carroll was showing why he's the nearest thing England and Newcastle have got to a powerful, all-action, throwback centre forward.

He's the sort of player designed to thrive on a raw day on Tyneside. A day with 3ft of cleared snow on the edge of the pitch and a Newcastle team defiantly gloveless... compared with the southern softies from Stamford Bridge who had eight men with mitts on.

Then came the reminder of Carroll's darker side, the side he's making a good fist (so to speak) of relegating to the footnotes of his personal story.

Inevitably Carroll had just plundered yet another goal of a remarkable season, tapping home from two yards after a careless back-pass from Alex.

The bad..... "He shoots, he scores, he'll break your f****** jaw Andy Carroll, Andy Carroll...." was the celebratory song.

Not entirely sure how wide Steven Taylor, on his first game back for 11 months, smiled when he heard that one. If indeed he still can smile following that infamous dressing room clash last season.

But memories of that sort of incident will fade if Carroll really does hold true to his current interview mantra of keeping his head down, working hard and making the very best of his talent.

Plundering nine goals so far puts him level with Carlos Tevez in second spot in the Premier League scoring charts, behind Dimitar Berbatov on 11.

Not that's he'll realise. Last weekend when he went level at the top, he didn't have a clue. "I only found out when a mate texted me!" he said.

Perhaps that is the beauty of Carroll. He doesn't think too much. He's fearless, gets the job done, and isn't hung up on his own tally or the reputations of the defenders he is giving a hard time.

"It has been a crazy time for me over the last year. So much has happened in such a short time and when I look back everything has fallen into place for me. But I've not changed my game since last season. Playing every week has helped. And so has scoring."

As yesterday Carroll demonstrated it is not all about his goal. Dropping in as a centre half for free kicks, and heading clear from corners, he is a key part of the defence too.

A team player, as well as an individual figure-head in a team showing their usual fighting spirit to hold out for a draw.

Geordie kinship was also on show in the abuse of Ashley Cole. To the tune of Can't Take My Eyes off You... the crowd sang: "Cheryl Tweedy you are the love of my life, I hate Ashley Cole too."

Newcastle fans know a hero as well as a villain. And they are seeing week in week out that Carroll has the X-Factor.

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williamhill.com

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